Nintendo Announces New Online Service
Hear ye, hear ye, gentle Nintendo gamers, your days of suffering under the abysmal Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will soon be at an end.
Nintendo during their quarterly report yesterday announced their intention to create the Nintendo Network. IGN reported that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was quick to distance their new online framework from their previous abomination.
“Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers.”
The publisher plans to first introduce personal accounts for the Wii U. This will put their next console in line with the Xbox 360 and PS3 who have allowed the same functionality since launch. Online profiles will no longer tied to your system or individual software. Iwata said that they will be able to construct and offer the personal account system by combining a multitude of different services and content.
In a more interesting direction, Nintendo also announced their plans to offer full titles over the service to both the Wii U and the 3DS. They aren’t saying when this program will start, because the 3DS is currently out and could support such full retail downloads, but they do have the framework in place to deliver such a system. Iwata said that they will have to consider retailer relations before they start offering games over digital channels. SD card limitations are also being taken into account.
The Nintendo Network will also be obviously offering paid downloadable content. The first title to take advantage of this will be Square Enix’ Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, which allows players to purchase new songs. The title launches in Japan on February 16.
“As a software maker, Nintendo believes that its packaged software should be sold to our consumers in a form so that the consumers will know in advance that they can enjoy playing the software they purchased just as it is,” Iwata said. “We believe that our consumers will be able to feel more secure if we offer our add-on content as an additional structure in which those who love the game will be able to enjoy it in a deeper way for a prolonged play time.”
Nintendo ended the online network segment of the report by promising to achieve compatibility for all the games on their platform under their new Nintendo Network.